The 2007 iPhone launch set the nascent cellphone industry on its ear.

Ten years ago today, on Jan. 9, 2007, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs — already a legendary pitchman — put on his best performance.

At the Macworld conference in San Francisco, Jobs unveiled the product that would drive Apple to become the most valuable company in the world and cement Apple’s comeback as the greatest in business history.

That was, of course, the iPhone, which had been rumored for years but still managed to exceed almost all expectations with a design, vision, user interface and level of sophistication that far surpassed anything in the mobile industry. As Jobs said early in the demo, quoting a colleague: “You had me at scrolling.”

Jobs’s introduction — the second half of a keynote that started with the Apple TV set-top box — is funny, smart, confident and compelling, and worth re-watching. (If you’ve never seen it, find a quiet place and at least watch the first hour. It still holds up.)

His preamble, which includes several gags — an iPod rotary dial! — is pitch perfect and showed his mastery of narrative and comedic timing.

And the iPhone itself, which wouldn’t go on sale for months — and, with some glaring omissions, drew plenty of skepticism — proved worthy of the effort.

Watch this next: Watch some of Steve Jobs’s best interviews, five years after his death


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Author: Recode Staff

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